PRETORIA : Wales captain Dan Biggar said his side would take confidence from their 32-29 loss to South Africa at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, but expressed frustration that their aggressive tactics to upset the world champions fell foul of the match officials.
Wales were given four yellow cards and conceded a penalty try, but still ran the Springboks close and might have had the lead in the last two minutes had Biggar not missed a relatively simple conversion.
The flyhalf was one of the four to get their marching orders from 27-year-old Georgian referee Nika Amashukeli as further cards for Alun Wyn Jones, Louis Rees-Zammit and Rhys Carre meant the tourists at one stage had only 12 players on the pitch.
“It is difficult to say too much when you are quite emotional,” Biggar told reporters. “But some of them (the penalties conceded) felt a little bit harsh. When you give a team like South Africa some momentum it is difficult to stop and probably quite easy to referee them. We will go away and look at it.
“But I don’t know what the referee expected us to do, just come here and lie down and let South Africa have everything their own way?
“We wanted to try and get in their faces, get in amongst it and not take a backwards step. You have to show some fight, energy and aggression.
“That is what test matches are all about. There was no dirty play, it was just going at it and being confrontational.”
Biggar said the showing from Wales should give the squad plenty of belief heading into the second test in Bloemfontein next Saturday.
“It was definitely a missed opportunity. Everyone is saying how much better the Springboks will be next week, but quite a few of our boys haven’t played in a while too.
“It was an absolute privilege to be out there, it is one of the best grounds I have ever played at.
“So to put up a good showing in the first test at altitude with that crowd against us, against the world champions, there is no reason why we can’t get better. We have gained a bit of confidence.”